Agency Concedes Tuition Fee Adjustment for Hundreds of Schools

The schools will make 10pc to 40pc tuition fee increments in the coming academic year

More than two-thirds of private schools in Addis Abeba got an approval from the regulatory body to make a 10pc to 40pc tuition fee increases for the upcoming academic year.

Addis Abeba’s Education Quality & Relevance Regulatory Agency has approved the requests of 707schools which have submitted their proposals to make fee increases. The schools have to submit their applications to the Agency within a 15-day period between April and May. Before submitting their proposals, they are required to have consultation forums with parents to get their consent. The Agency sends observers who will follow-up with such discussions.

“Out of the total schools who proposed for school fee adjustments, 698 of them had discussions with partners,” Biruknesh Argaw, director general of the Agency told Fortune. “A little over half of these schools have reduced the initial fee increase proposals after negotiating with parents.”

The proposals of 23 schools were rejected as the parents, and the schools did not agree on the proposed higher fees.

Though the schools need to get final approval from the agency to revise the amendments, they are not regulated on the rates of the increases they make. The Agency is only legally mandated to approve the agreed fee adjustment.

“We can only make the schools and the parents negotiate,” said Fikirte Abera, deputy director of Licensing, Recognition & Renewal at the Agency.

Tadele Ferede, Head Department of Economics, College of Business and Economics, Addis Abeba University argues that the schools have to make adjustments with tangible reasons and purposes.

“There must be a committee composed of parents and the regulatory agency, which will follow-up with the increases made by the agreement,” he added.

Addis Abeba has 468 public and 1,631 private schools. Out of these schools, 919 are private kindergarten school, who teach children between the ages of four to six while 569 are elementary schools. The remaining are secondary schools.

The regulatory body stipulates that registration shall only be conducted in July and August, but many schools continue to registering new students throughout the year. Due to this, last year, the Trade Practices & Consumer Protection Authority sued 14 private schools including British International School, Gibson Youth Academy and Harvard Academy. The Authority has requested the Tribunal for a monetary punishment to fine each school 10pc of their annual revenue.

The Addis Abeba Education Bureau also regulates the private schools operating without a license or an expired license. Two years ago the Bureau served warnings to 300 private schools while forcibly shut shutting down three branches of two private schools for operating without licences and with an expired license.

Regarding the school fees, there is an increasing trend for fees over the years, according to a survey by the Central Statistical Agency (CSA). Five years back the average monthly fee for high school was 387 Br a month. The price doubled to 666 Br a month two years ago.


Published on May 26,2018 [ Vol 19 ,No 943]



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